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People invited to have their say on developing West Northants’ Library Service


04 September 2023

Person reaching for a book on a shelf

People are being invited to have their say on proposals to develop the Library Service across West Northants by taking part in West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) consultation.

From today (4 September), residents can share their views around the new 4-year draft strategy which proposes the continued development of public libraries as thriving community hubs supporting people of all ages and backgrounds by setting out 7 priority areas, which include:

  • Increased reading and literacy
  • Cultural and creative enrichment
  • Improved digital access and literacy
  • Healthier and happier lives
  • Helping everyone achieve their full potential
  • Greater prosperity
  • Stronger and more resilient communities

There are currently 18 Libraries across West Northamptonshire; 9 of which the Council are responsible for and 9 which are community managed libraries delivered in partnership with community organisations and volunteers.

The draft strategy sets out the Council’s ambition for the library service which will apply to the council-run public libraries and has been developed through engagement with staff, partners and stakeholders and is based around other local strategies and the 10 Integrated Care Northamptonshire Strategy ‘Live Your Best Life’ ambitions.

The new strategy will build on previous work to make libraries hubs for local communities from which a range of services, information and support can be accessed. It considers the post-pandemic landscape and the resulting behavioural changes of residents and needs of the communities, as well as the opportunities to work with the community managed libraries to provide services locally.

Residents are encouraged to give their feedback on these proposals as part of an 8-week consultation starting today (Monday, 4 September) and running until midnight on Sunday, 29 October.

It is vital that we hear the views of residents in order to best shape our Library Service and ensure it meets the needs of the whole community.

Libraries have evolved over the years and now provide so much more than books. Our libraries can now provide a welcoming space to meet others or somewhere to seek employment, mental health and money advice, and a wealth of free online resources including publications from around the world in a variety of languages. Our library service offers something for everyone and we want to make sure it continues to be the best it can be.

We want to hear from residents, businesses, stakeholders and anyone who has an interest in the library service. Your views will help us to provide a modern, engaging service, and I encourage everyone to share their ideas and have their say.
Cllr Adam Brown, Deputy Leader of WNC and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure

All responses will be considered and will help to shape a final version of the strategy to then be considered by West Northamptonshire Council’s Cabinet this autumn. To view the draft proposals and complete the online questionnaire, visit the WNC Consultation Hub.

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